Monday, September 1, 2008

Mad Libs

Before the boys were born, I taught 3rd grade at a public school in downtown Memphis. The grammar curriculum we used emphasized teaching the eight parts of speech during the 3rd level, so on Fridays for fun, I would do Mad Libs with my students. If you are not familiar with the concept, Mad Libs are a collection of paragraphs, each of which would be amusing in and of themselves. However, to make them truly "mad," about a dozen words are omitted. In their places are blanks with a part of speech listed beneath each line. My students would take turns providing the words for the blanks which reinforced their knowledge of the parts of speech.
Our boys have learned enough in this area to begin to attempt Mad Libs. We have been doing about five per week on Friday nights and have had a blast. Here is one of the funniest examples. I have italicized the words that the boys provided. Keep in mind that they were only told the part of speech and had to provide a word without knowing the context of the story.
If you are looking for a fun, inexpensive, educational, and easy activity, Mad Libs are great. The booklets are available at bookstores everywhere, including the book aisle at Wal Mart.

Safety Precautions for Campers
Attention campers! A few weeks ago, you were a miserable t.v., living in the pretty city with your gaseous parents. Just a few weeks at Camp Fobo will turn you into a self-reliant, fearless trashcan. But first, you must learn to exist in the wild.
Rule One: If you catch a coral and make a fire to cook it, always remember to pour apple juice on the fire when you are through. As Smokey the Salamander always says, "Leaping lizards!"
Rule Two: Do not go more than 7 million yards away from the trail. If you get lost, remember that bellies always grow on the north side of a gourd. If you have a compass, the needle will always point toward Wal Mart. If you run into a bear, do not give it apples. Just be calm and climb a candle stick. If you follow these rules, you can live very creatively in the woods.
from Off the Wall Mad Libs, copyright 2001, Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, New York

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